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tv   Nancy Grace  HLN  November 8, 2009 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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with melvin. on prime minister's questions, gordon brown on afghanistan. . >> melvin urofsky, can you remember when you first thought you might like louis brandeis? >> i was a graduate student in the early 1960's, and a great
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biographer of woodrow wilson had written that brandeis was the architect of intellectual freedom. i said that i thought that there might be a doctoral dissertation here. my professor said that he thought so too. i did the documentation and did some research. i got it approved and in the fall of 1964 i moved to columbus, ohio 44 -- for my first teaching job at ohio state. i do went down to louisville where the brandeis papers are there. there was not enough information on that particular topic to supported dissertation. but the brandeis letters were a gold mine of informations. david levy, a colleague of mine, and i work to get the
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letters. and as my wife has said, he had been living with us ever since. they are at the university of louisville law library. there was a member of the brandeis family and you are professor at ohio state. they had gone to college together. after a series of phone calls to say, are these people ok, we got permission and we were interviewed by brandeis' daughters who gave us their blessing to go ahead. and then we all family started seven volumes of letters. on my part, some other books related to brandeis. >> a midlife crisis? >> i was 40 and i had contact lenses. is -- i bought eight sports car
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which my son told and i went to law school. >> like? >> brandeis. i discovered while editing the letters, some of the cases had not been done properly. i was fascinated by the loss so i went to law school and had a wonderful time because i was not looking for a job or to make the law review. my grades were decent. i may have been the only person who really enjoy himself in law school. >> where did you go? and you taught law at -- most of your life? >> my first full-time teaching job was at ohio state. the bulk of my teaching career was at virginia commonwealth down in richmond. i am now a visiting professor of history here american
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university. >> what is the thing you like about louis brandeis the most? >> his integrity. as i try to explain in the book, he was an idealist who is also a pragmatist. he did not have his head in the sky and some notion of a grand scheme. he was very much grounded in the reality of this is where we live, this is what is wrong, this is how we make it better. he told someone that he did not believe in isms, they never were. dollars he was on the court for what years? >> 1916 to 1939. he lived in little -- llo uisville until his father shot
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the business down. when brandeis came back, he entered harvard law school. after he graduated harvard, except for one year in st. louis, he practiced law in boston until it was appointed to the court. he lived in washington the rest of his life. >> did he actually did an undergraduate degree in law? >> no, he did not. and you did not need one to get into harvard law on those days. he did go to a german gymnasium for awhile. it would have been a cross between high school and college. he got some post-high school training the be never had to be a. -- though he never had a b.a. dollars did you ever meet his daughters? >> i met them in the 1960's.
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we went to their home and i met susan elizabeth -- susan and elisabeth -- susan's husband was already dead but we already -- but we met her husband, e.b. the miskitos were eating us alive but they never came near her. they made quite good records for themselves. >> there is a lot that you can talk about. we have a huge biography of him. one of the things that caught my attention had nothing to do with the law. the salons that he used to have. you do not see much of that anymore. explain what they were. >> brandeis, from the time he
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and alice were married -- and he had a place of his own where he could invite people, was always inviting people who came to tehran, reporters, politicians, -- who came to town, reporters, politicians, etc. they would have a feast and invite young people who worked in the government, other members of the court, reporters going through town, people from louisville who happen to be coming to, professors from harvard were always welcome. during the new deal, this became an important place to go to. many of the known -- the young new dealers had been sent there and would come to brandeis. he would question them on what they were doing and why they
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were doing this. what problems were they facing? it was not so much that you ought to do this or that, but i interviewed some of them later on and said he would ask them questions. and then we would understand a problem that had been bothering us and it would go away. i give you one example of this. there was a woman who was heading a branch -- the theater branch of the works administration. she had this problem, until all the could not pay royalties to the authors of plays and she thought that that was unfair. her husband had been a classmate of one of brandeis' clerks at harvard. she goes there and he is quizzing her. he asks, what is the problem? she explains that she cannot pay royalty. he said, rent the place. that was the ideal solution.
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that could pave the -- rent the plays. that was fair to everyone concerned. he did that hundreds of thousands of times. >> were there many accountings that you could find about the salons? dollars yes. the corks were always pressed into service to make sure that no one monopolized -- the clerks were always pressed into service to make sure that no one monopolize brandeis' time. alice would make sure that they sent over the next person to introduce. and a number of other people in their autobiographies brought about going there. one was a great fan of brandeis , and brandeis called him a hell
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of a fellow. >> the only served tea and cookies -- gingersnaps. >> that is all. they were not cheap in the sense. as he got older, he grew more ascetic. julian mac, a board made, used to say that if you a bit brandeis' you had it twice. once when you went there and afterwards to get a good meal. was it dean acheson or one of his clerks who grow up on a farm, there were passing asparagus, and he took a far portion, not realizing that what was on the plate was all but there was -- all that there was. he did not make that mistake
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again. >> he told his wife that they would whip -- live well but simply. >> yes, they bought a good stores in boston. they bought could clothes and kept them. -- good clothes and kept them. he was not a slave to fashion. he would replace this one out suits with the same suit essentially. they bought in good furniture stores. he told a brother, don't buy any furniture that your grandchildren cannot use. they never owned a car. he finally had to give up his horse and demand an arrangement with a limousine service, and individual driver who owned a car. he would come get him. he gave up his car only when washington made it impossible. there's a picture of him and alice in a horse-drawn buggy in 1921. he was still riding late in
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life. he owned two houses. he bought one place on cape cod because the owner from whom he had rented from are numbered years wanted to sell it. brandeis liked it too much and did not think the new owner -- a new owner would bring it to him. but things and no appeal to him at all. >> how much money did he make? >> a lot. he was successful almost from the time they open business in boston. the best numbers i can give you -- in the 1890's, when most were making less than $5,000 a year, he was making $50,000 every year. that is the equivalent of $900,000 with no taxes. he was a millionaire by 1907 when he went -- 21 on the court, he was worth $2 million. when he died, he was worth $3 million. he had the money.
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he gave very generously to relatives and causes that he believed in. to zionism and others. but he said, once i have enough money back and take care of my family, i want to do more public service. >> you say at one point that he was a republican but he was a democrat. >> he was always a small d democrat. he was in the republican party for a long time because the democrats, when he was going up, was the party of romanism and rebellion, the party of the south. he was opposed to willing standing brian -- william jennings bryan. but he breaks with them and then he is a member of the democratic party, but he was always a small
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d democrat $3 he said he was conservative but liberal. >> he always describes himself as conservative. one of the paradoxes is a man who saw himself as a conservative became a liberal icon. he appears liberal in comparison to some of the reactionaries like mcreynolds and tapped with whom he served. -- and taft with whom he served. he was a bird cn -- if you wanted to keep the best in the past, you had to adopt it to current realities. that is what the liberals -- in his dissents when he is arguing that the court should exercise restraint and allow legislators
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to do what they are permitted to do, his opinions on privacy in spree speech -- this is what the liberals made of him. dollars i wrote down a number of things that you said about him. including, we've talked about that he did not belong to a synagogue and yet he was very active in the zionist movement. >> two types of zionism, if you will. he was always a secular zionist. >> defines zionism for someone who was never known it. >> it was a movement started by peter herzl to return it used to a homeland in palestine. >> where was her soul of the time? >> he was a viennese journalist, a secular jew, a nonpracticing jew, but a reporter at the dreyfus trial in paris. that weakened his jewish sensibilities.
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-- that awakened his jewish sensibilities. he was willing for a homeland for any place until more religious jews pointed to the land of israel. brandeis' local was a zionist all the brandeis did not know it at the time. -- brandeis' uncle was a zionist though brandeis did not know that the time. brandeis then studies and eventually comes to the conclusion that zionism is a type of i disk -- idealistic reform that he can support. he never was religious. he said that his mother did not believe that anyone should be bound to any one religion. they should be aware of and sensitive to all religions and treat them all with respect. he never denied his judaism, but considering that he was one of
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the most successful lawyers in boston, he had very little to do with the jewish community in boston. he made donations to various jewish charities which were for the amount of money that he had nominal compared to other reforms. >> talk about that dreyfus trial. >> he was a captain in the french army. there was a scandal in which it was determined that a spy had sold military secrets to the germans, france's age-old enemies. dreyfus although in the set was blamed for it. the problem was that he was the only jewish officer -- dreyfus, although innocent, was blamed for it. a number of people accused the
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french of a mock trial that was a farce. that was the basis of theodor herzl's book. the real culprits were found. >> this is a non sequitur but he later died and called in other cases. >> there were two italian immigrants who were charged with a robbery and murder in massachusetts. their trial was a farce. evidence that might or might not have to exonerate them would have kept away. the judge was prejudiced. after the trial, a number of people, they began a long and arduous task to show that the trial was not fair. there was no justice there and
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trying to get a new trial for them. frankfurter was a professor of harvard law at the time. brandeis invited him -- gave him an annual stipend which raised some eyebrows but was not a moral of the time. i have to digress here. brandeis was able to give so much of his time to reform work because he was rich. he made a lot of money as a lawyer. he had invested some way. frankfurter was a president -- a professor at harvard law school when they did not pay the high salaries that they do today. he had a wife who was often sick. all of his salary was going to support his family. brandeis gave him an annual stipend which frankfurter at first did not want to take. but there were no strings attached. he told frankfurter, if you're
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doing reform work. it costs and you should be free to take on whatever causes you want without worrying about affording your services are not. when frankfurter became involved with this case, brandeis sent him some extra money to help defray expenses. but more importantly brandeis agreed that one of the houses he owned as a rental property could be unified -- used by one of the defendants' families. frankfurter was worried about them having no place to stay. it essentially became a safe house. brandeis became aware of this and it also made him very unable later on to interfere in the case at all when the lawyers came for a last-minute stay of education -- execution.
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so they were both executed. some research is divided over whether they were guilty or not. some are convinced that at least one was guilty. but it is still not clear. >> have you read much about frankfurter? >> i wrote a biography about him. >> what is the connection between the two? you quoted brandeis is saying that frankfurter was a half brother, had son -- half son. >> they met when frankfurter was quite young. brandeis was an established reformer and lawyer. they met in washington at a house where frankfurter and other young men shared. brandeis to frankfurter under is
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willing to a certain extent. helped to arrange things it harder for him. he was the only person to whom he would talk freely and openly about events on the court. there is a wonderful series of notes that frankfurter left of notes with brandeis and wish they would discuss court cases and personalities three it is one of the few glimmers into the inside of brandeis, what he thought about his colleagues on the court. after brandeis could no longer do the reform work that he had been doing, frankfurter had already gotten involved to some extent. the problem was, where brandeis could afford to take any case that he wanted, any reform that he wanted, because it paid its own way, frankfurter could not. frankfurter did not have the cash to be able to lay out or to have a brief printed in a correspondence. he did not have that.
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brandeis wanted to make sure that he did. from 1917 until the late 1930's, when frankfurter one on the court himself, brandeis gave him about $50,000 a year in terms of our money. it was much less than but if you are talking about briefs and travel and hiring research assistance, none of it went into frankfurters pocket. nor did brandeis ever tell frankfurter i wanted to do this or that. it was always left to frankfurters discretion. despite the scandal when it became known about 20 years ago, it was never secret at the time. some people -- i talked to some professors at harvard who always knew about it. >> it was almost 85 when the off
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-- when he died in 1941. >> his total stake was $3 million. after taxes, it still came out the $1.9 million. this is 1941 dollars. he had invested very conservatively. he said he did not want to have to watch his investments. yet a woman who had come to him as a young mom -- as a young girl to his law office in boston. she had a head for numbers which she recognized. he put her in charge of office finances and after he won on the court, she continued to handle his personal portfolio. and he paid for a fee for that every year. >> one of your chapters about how he got involved in the new haven railroad or you will remember. today every problem we have
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today in that time period reads like it does today. >> it was probably insurance scandal. the headlines there were so similar. ceo's using company money to buy persian rugs, one of them paying for big coming out costume party for his niece out of corporate funds, same headlines, different names from today. new england policyholder's in these big three companies were very upset. they wanted to know -- many people in those days, an insurance policy was a cheap investment. the stock market had not become what it is today. if you are a doctor or lawyer or around 1904 or 1905 coming your big investment aside from the purchase of the house would been an insurance policy which would have provided for your family if your diet, or what had been a retirement if you live long enough. there were extremely worried
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about the value of these investments. they hired brandeis took explore this for them. at the same time charles evans hughes is conducting public investigations in new york into the insurance thing and he is coming up with one scandal after another that is just like today. >> put him in the context. >> hughes was a lawyer in new york. he eventually became governor of new york, appointed to the supreme court by taft, later resigned became secretary of state. there was a chief justice by hoover. brandeis thought the world of him. they did not agree on everything jurisprudential ly, but brandeis was admired him. he thought that his investigation into the insurance industry was exactly as he would have done it. he thought that hughes was the best chief justice he had ever
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met. the bush in the context of the insurance business, you said that he had a strong aversion to the purse of bigness. what impact it have on it? the whole big of becoming a consumers lawyer. >> in the chapter which i called "a perfect reform," i tried to show what made brandeis and effective reform. he is opposed to bigness in business or government. he said that man is a weak thing and has limited abilities. he recognized that in modern -- modern society had have delegation and one person could not do everything, the idea of a factory that hired 10,000 people -- no one can have any idea what the business is when it gets to be that big. there is an inefficiency of bigness.
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him up -- he opposed much of the big deal personally, not as a justice, but personally because he was opposed to big government labor has a mixed reaction to him. he was a strong proponent of labor's right to organize and bargain collectively. on the other hand, he wanted limits on union so they would be responsible. this was anathema to people like labor leaders. he was the head of the american federation of labor this time. when it came to the confirmation hearings, labor lined up and completely back brandeis because they trusted him, even if they disagree with him sometimes. >> it took six months to get him approved. >> he was a radical. there is no question about it. as far as conservative jurist
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were concerned, he had attacked jpmorgan. he had discovered that the past presidency was a big scandal regarding conservation and alaskan resources. the president had lied about what he had done. this was a man who developed the brandeis brief to support labor legislation which conservatives found anathema. this was the man who attacked banking practices. he attacked the courts as being not in touch with current reality by any standard. by any standard, brandeis was a radical. as far as conservatives were turned -- concerned, he was trained and effective. you could ignore the real radicals in the left but could not ignore brandeis. >> the 22 who voted against him, who were they?
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>> almost all republicans at that time. only three republicans voted for him. >> it were on the supreme court today, who would be on his side? he would like a man who would not? -- who would like him and who would night? >> that is a hard question. a lot of what he preached is accepted by all members of the court. his dissents in the 1920's and 1930's had been accepted. think of antonin scalia as a conservative, a very conservative justice. a few years ago, scalia wrote was in s -- what was in essence of brandeisian opinion. police were cruising around with heat sensors. if they could pick up the heat signature, they would know who is growing marijuana because you have to have all of that light. they picked up the heat
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signature from a house. they went got a warrant for sure enough, the guy was growing marijuana. but they never had a warrant to use the thermal sensor to look into the house. he is convicted in the lower courts. sculley writes what is a brandeisian opinion on privacy. you can look into someone's house because you have the technology to do so. you need to have all warrant. this is what brandeis wrote were guarding wiretaps. just because you are outside the house does it mean that you can take those alligator clips and listen in on the telephone conversation. -- does not mean that you can take those alligator clips and listen in on the telephone conversation. his notion of judicial restraint, to allow the legislature to do what they are permitted to do, is paid lip service by everybody. not always carried out, but paid lip service by left, right, and
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metal. it is hard to say where he would be. but to take one specific case, the lead bidder case. -- an ledbetter case. they said that unless she could prove a case within 90 days, she had no cause of action. she did not know that she was being discriminated guns for 20 years. brandeis certainly would have been with ruth bader ginsberg and the moderates on that in trying to inject a sense of common sense into the opinion. >> other things you say that he was not for women's suffrage initially and he was not active in the sole rights movement of those days. >> he was not initially for woman suffrage. he in fact spoke against it. but then he married and had two dollars. -- two daughters.
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he also associated with very intelligent women, florence kelley of the national consumers league, his sister-in-law, he knew jane addams. he gradually came to the conclusion that his argument was fallacious. especially his wife, who came out and support of woman suffrage, and a very shy analysts -- and a very shy alice one on stage to speak about it. -- went on stage to speak about it. as a historian, you have to be careful to distinguish between what was going on in the 1910's and what happened later. the naacp at the time was a very small group.
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the jurisprudence at the time was very different routes segregation was seen as state action. even the naacp did not know how you would attack state action in federal court. not until the 1950 loss do we begin to get a supreme court that allows federal review of state action in a number of areas. although brandeis -- i think the main charges that he was not a champion of the african american. he championed all these other groups, why not them as well? which is a strange argument. but in all the cases that did come up before the supreme court that the naacp fraud, and there were only a handful when he was on the bench, in every single one of them he supports the naacp to strike them some form of descriptive -- discriminatory legislation.
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i argued that it would have been wonderful if he had also done that but he did not. that is understandable. >> which you have liked him as a personal friend? >> if i was a close friend, i would have. if i were just a casual acquaintance, i would of thought of him as cold, hard, all business, no nonsense. but his good friends, people like norman, thought the world them. he did not have a lot of close friends. he was a man who made use of every minute of his time, although he took one month off every year. he said that he could do 12 months worth of work in 11 months but not 12. he would take the month of august off.
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annie took long weekends. he believed that the worst thing a person could do is be tired because you make mistakes when you're tired. a lawyer who be greatly respected had made a mistake because it was tired. he swore that that would never happen to him. >> one of the things i saw reference in your book is the 1914 book that he did, "other people's money and how the bankers use it." >> i wrote an introduction to that book. last fall i had an op ed piece in the new york times in which i said everything he says in that book regarding bankers, what they do, how these other people -- how to use other people's money, is still true today. the best thing we can do is learn from him. >> let me ask you this. because i kept reading about, i
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typed in louis brandeis and other people's money. you can read the whole thing right there and the internet. how do you think he would feel about that, since he was a involved in copyright and privacy? it is free. >> i think he would have very mixed reactions. on the one hand it is a wonderful source of information to all people. like most progressives, he believed that you could never know enough. one of his arguments for free speech is that an educated citizenry is absolutely essential in a democracy. we do not censors speech so that people can see all kinds of -- all sides of an argument. to think that anyone could sit down in front of a computer and get all the information would be wonderful. but on the other hand, the fact that it intrudes in so much of our daily life. you walk down the street now when you see people talking to themselves. but that the earplugs and. whatever rested people not that
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long ago -- they would have arrested people not that long ago. he did not even use the phone later in his life because he thought was an intrusion into his privacy. he would have objected to cellphones and their ubiquitousness today. he would have had mixed reactions. >> where did he live here in washington? >> on california street. he would want them. >> other people's money and how the bankers use it. 1914, if you can find it. i also want to show you a clip of his grandson who lives here in washington who we talked to on our special on the supreme court. do you know him? >> i know him for a number of years. >> he is talking about the supreme court building. back in 1935, he did not move into it.
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>> he had the lawbooks spread out on the floor of his bedroom office. which was not a large room. and that served him very fine. so he saw no need for this marble palace. id not want any part of that although he had good relations with his fellow justices. they all use the building -- one of my grandfather clockworks told me that one of his fellow justices raised some objections about the building, and rather and characteristically, grandfather turned to the law clerk and said well, he voted for it. >> the modern supreme court building was packed taft -- taft's and cit -- initiative.
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it was cramped with no rooms for private offices where they met before. they had to walk down the hall to the court room. taft fault that is one of the three main branches of the government, the supreme court ought to have a building that was comparable to the capital or the white house. he pushed it through. brandeis always like the old court room. he liked the idea that the court was a small body -- one man with one clerk doing the business of the government. he like that. he refused to move into the new building. his wife was curious. they kept his chambers open to the public so that when they're running tours through the building, they could show what it chambers -- a justice's chambers looked like, because his work and occupied. alice snot down there to see it. when she came out, they have ice
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water and shower baths. my husband does not use either one of those. they thought that they were much too elaborate and he never moved into them. >> some people were worried that brandeis did not bathe. he actually liked the bathtub. you'll notice on the list of clarks that all of the clerks for louis brandeis came from harvard. unlike any other justice. nobody else had only harvard clerks. >> no, no, homestead. he got them from the same source -- holmes did. he got them from the same source. we and douglas only took his quirks from the ninth circuit. now of course they have three or
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four apiece. in those days, some time clerks would stay more than one year. harlan stone had a clerk at stayed with him for eight years. it is a different arrangement where they lead after one year. brandeis had two clerks that state two years each. one of those was dean acheson. the others only stayed for one year. frankfurter chose them. water to met with brandeis, when it would show up in august. the former clark would essentially teach them the ropes. and then they would do it. >> if the supreme court justice was paying someone like frankfurt at harvard to do a project of any kind, and that professor was providing the supreme court justice with all the cars, do you think that would work today? >> this is a much different environment after the scandals
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of the 1960's. i met with a member of the judicial conference office that handles judicial ethics. i sent him some chapters in the book. i wanted to know, is there anything on ethical about what brandeis was doing either by the standards of his time for our time? he said there was nothing unethical or illegal but that because of the closer scrutiny of what justices do cents the florida scandal, brandeis probably would not have done some of these things. asking a perfect -- a particular professor to provide clarks, no problem with that. providing a stipend to engage in reform activities -- today that probably would not fly. >> going back to frankfurter, who was his mother? >> susan was his mother.
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the dollar do you know him? what does he do in washington? >> yes, he worked for the historic trust. the second clip is still today mind-boggling today. >> when it came to his resignation from the supreme court in 1939, as is customary the chief justice wrote a letter to the retiring justice to praise him and indicate how much the court would miss him. and after chief justice hughes drafted this letter, the senior associate justice who was justice mcreynolds declined to sign the letter. other justices immediately signed a letter, which was sent off to grandfather, and it
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stands to this day as an indication of how justice mcreynolds felt about grandfather. but the chief justice uses credit, he did not need that signature. he wanted to stand with the other justices indicating to respect and affection for my grandfather. >> were both justices from kentucky? >> i am not sure about it riddles. i think he may have been. >> what was the thinking back then? explain how far he ago did not be around them? >> mcreynolds was an attorney general. he worked very closely with brandeis in 1913 and 1940 to draft legislation. we have a number of letters
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saying that he met with make rules and spent several hours. he wants rights to his wife that mcreynolds is besieged with office seekers. i am so glad i did not get that job. he had been talked about as a possible member of wilson's cabinet. up until that time, their relations seemed relatively cordial. all want mcreynolds went on the bench, his anti-semitism followed completely -- it just cost out. during that time that brandeis was on the bench, mcreynolds would not talk to him unless absolutely necessary for it during the weekly conference when it whenever cases, but reynolds would sometimes go to a couch on the side and read his mail or leave the room until brandeis, the jew, was finished.
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there were sometimes not official portraits of the court because mcreynolds would not pose with brandeis. when benjamin cardozo came on in 1932, mcreynolds was horrified to have two jews on the court. >> did anyone ask rick reynolds why he felt that way? >> not that i know of. >> a memoir was done by his court. >> it does not say why he felt this way. it was just prejudice, pure and simple. >> did just as brandeis to talk about this? >> he ignored justice mcreynolds for the most part. he does not have a great deal of respect for him not because of the prejudice but because he was support justice. -- he was a poor justice. they were all surprised at how sloppily mcreynolds did his word. there is an interesting letter
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that one time, for some reason or another, and a minor case, both brandeis and mcreynolds were in dissent with the majority. because brandeis was working on a larger dissent, he asked me griddles it would write the dissenting opinion. he comes on and says mcreynolds was so unhappy that i asked him to do that. it is a strange relationship. there are some places where you are tracking and look at the notion that -- looking at brandeises court papers. he does not say anything nasty on returns and * makes suggestion. and then there are other times when you get the stores. mcreynolds was a very strange person. >> lighted justice brandeis' been so much time and money at the university of global -- of
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louisville? and what did he have to do with brandeis university? >> he had nothing to do with brandeis university other than his name was taking. one of his daughter said that he would never have allowed the university to be named after him. his interest begins to grow in the 1920's when harvard law school expands, and brandeis is opposed to that. brandeis has been a contributor to harvard law school and one of the founder of the alumni association. it was a longtime secretary and on the board of visitors. pound in the 1920's feels that harvard is still a 19th century law school. in order to meet the needs of the 20th century, they are going to expand the faculty. in order to expand, it would have to expand the student base. that would mean larger
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classrooms, at least in that general courses. brandeis is dead set against it. he turns to louisville because harvard is now too big. he did not want one big harvard but a lot of little harvards. louisville was to be his experiment. he and his brother took the lead in raising money. brandeis arranged for an extensive library to be given to the university. he helped bring in a dynamic dean of the law school. he gave a lot of money but in small chunks. he was opposed to the idea of big dollar investments. he is constantly advising them to not go after the big dollars. go after all lot of little dollars, because then you get
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people involved and interested. he was applauded obama as use of the internet to raise a lot of $25 contributions rather than the $150,000 contributions. today, if you ask the dean at the university of louisville law school, there would say that they consider themselves the second tier law school but one of the best. >> how much was he responsible for pro bono service? >> he almost convince proponent. -- he almost indevents pro bono.
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he tells his wife that he hopes to be able to give one an hour a day on public service. he does very well and his law service. one of his clients comes to him and asks him to represent her. she was a reformer appalled by the conditions of the boston hospital for the insane, which is out on an island in boston harbor. brandeis goes out there and says it was one of the worst days of his life. it was like going to a syphilitic ward. he felt on claim. he tries to get this city to adopt better conditions, which they do, although by current standards, it was not that much better. when mrs. lincoln sends him a check, he gives it to charity. eventually he stopped taking fees for public service work completely.
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when one of his clients as well as a collaborator on several reforms, wanted to find out how much he was charging, he came to brandeis and said, if you did all this work. how much will it cost? brandeis said it would cost nothing. this is my obligation to do this. just as it is your obligation to be a good citizen, this is how i'd do it. just as a collector would not enjoyed -- or yachtsman would not enjoy being out on the sea it was paid to do it, it is the same with me. at one point he felt was unfair to his partners in the law firm because he was the big rainmaker. he paid his law firm $25,000 out of his pocket. his partner said that none of us
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would have had even thought of suggesting this. it was something that we did with and for brandeis. he was the one that insisted on it. >> this is what book for you? >> 50-something that i be there editor written. dollars this is 955 pages. who do you want to read this? >> well, everybody. i like people who are interested in public affairs to read it. not just the court but government. i would like young lawyers, people going the law school, to read it and see how all can be used in the service of the public. how would like people who want a better society to read to see it that you do not have to have an ideal of what things ought to be but a sense of how you get there, how you do something that is real. of like justices to read it to remind them of how law has to be wedded to reality.
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a lot of people i hope would read this. >> were you from originally? dollars liberty in upstate new york. the boilers were did you get your undergraduate degree? >> columbia. and a j.d. from the university of virginia. >> what impact that what degree have on you? -- did that what degree have on you? >> is opened up a teaching career for me. it allowed me to start writing about legal affairs, especially law and public policy. i have done books on affirmative action's in the right to die and campaign finance. he gave me the confidence that when i was writing about legal issues, i really did understand it. where is prior to going to law school, i was for around the issues. i was not quite sure that i did
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understand. i now have the confidence -- all i have written about for the past 30 years is the law and public affairs. >> 111 justices in history and he was 67. is there one thing that you can point to it that makes him one of the best known, one of the two or three best in history? >> i would say that his jurisprudence on free-speech and privacy, if nothing else, would mark him as a great and influential justice. there is a lot more. but if there is one decision or two decision that should be read, his decision on olmstead
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and whitney for private speech. they're still quoted is principally. dollars what is your favorite chapter in this book? >> "getting started," talking about his work habits and his relations with his quirt. i don't know why i like it better than the others, but i do. >> what is the one thing you did not like about him? >> that he burned so many of his papers that might have given us better insight into him. he developed the right to privacy. so you understand that. >> melvin urofsky has been our guest. he is the author of a "louis d. brandeis -- a life." >> it has been a pleasure. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> for a dvd copy of this program, call 1-877-662-7726343
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transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at the web site. "q&a programs are also available as c-span podcasts. >> coming up next on c-span, prime minister gordon brown at the british house of commons. and then minnesota gov. temple in the speaks to iowa republicans. and an 11:00 p.m., another chance to see q&a with author melvin urofsky. >> the measure of success in afghanistan will be that british troops can come home because afghans can do with the security problems of the country
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their cells. that is our strategy, to build up economic prosperity and to make sure that the structures of local and national government reflect the will of the people. >> from london, prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. this week, prime minister brown answered several questions about five british soldiers who died in afghanistan on tuesday. opposition leaders also challenge the prime minister to conduct an inquiry into the deaths and the overall mission in afghanistan. the prime minister also answered questions on the kelly report, a proposal to reform in pete expenses. dollars order for it question to the prime minister. mr. jamie read. >> number one, mr. speaker. >> before listing my engagements, i am sure the whole house wil
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